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Wartime rescue honored amid calls for amity

By YIFAN XU in Washington | China Daily Global | Updated: 2024-04-22 09:30
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Nearly 200 guests, including the delegation of Jiangxi province, descendants of Doolittle Raid pilots and representatives from US government departments, universities and media, attended a film screening event on Friday held by the Chinese embassy in Washington to commemorate the 82nd anniversary of the Doolittle Shangrao Rescue Operation.

The Doolittle Raid, a US air attack on Japan in retaliation for the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941, resulted in US pilots landing in the bordering area of Jiangxi, Zhejiang and Fujian provinces because of fuel shortages. The Chinese people's efforts to rescue these pilots solidified a significant moment of cooperation during World War II.

Hu Zhiyang, deputy director of Jiangxi Provincial Foreign Affairs Office, provided historical context for the Doolittle Raid and the rescue in Shangrao in the province's east. He also introduced the documentary Across Time and Space: Memories and Searches, which explores the lasting effect of this wartime collaboration between the United States and China and the deep friendship between the two peoples.

The screening featured documentaries chronicling the Chinese people's rescue efforts for pilots in the Doolittle Raid.

Jing Quan, charge d'affaires of the Chinese embassy, said he had a long experience of taking part in the China-US cooperative search for the remains of missing US soldiers who had assisted the Chinese during World War II.

He shared the story of ordinary Chinese people searching at their own expense for the remains of US pilots who opened up the Hump Route, along which the Allied pilots followed over the eastern Himalayas, flying military transport planes from India to China to supply the Chinese Army and the units of the US Army Air Forces based in China to fight the Japanese invaders.

Jing highlighted the enduring China-US friendship, citing historical chapters such as the Doolittle Raid rescue, the Flying Tigers' alliance and ping-pong diplomacy. He emphasized the importance of people-to-people exchange and mutual respect for building a better future for both countries.

Descendants of the Doolittle Raid pilots, including Thomas Marcia, shared personal stories of their fathers' rescue by Chinese villagers. Marcia pledged to preserve the memory of this operation and promote continued positive relations between the US and China.

"May our ancestors' friendships and comradeship in a time of common peril serve as an inspiration to us to maintain our friendship and to our mutual national leadership to preserve a peaceful competition between our two great nations," he said.


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